Audiogenic Stress

(Image courtesy of R. Bowen, Colorado State University)

Exposure to loud noises causes the human body to enter into “fight or flight” mode due to a perceived threat.

The hypothalmus in the brain sends alarm signals to the body in response to the threat.

Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), originally named corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), and also called corticoliberin, is a peptide hormone and neurotransmitter involved in the stress response. CRH is produced in the hypothalamus.

CRH stimulates the pituitary synthesis of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), also known as corticotropin.

CRH regulates adrenal function via ACTH and the central nervous system.

As a result, he adrenal glands mounted atop kidneys release the chemical cortisol.

Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances the brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation.

The adrenal glans also release adrenaline (epinephrine) which increases breathing, heart rate, elevates blood pressure and boosts energy supplies.

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The body’s stress-response system is usually self-regulating. It decreases hormone levels and enables the body to return to normal once a perceived threat has passed.

As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, the heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.

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Dr. Pawan Kumar, an Indian heart surgeon, said loud noise releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. “These hormones cause the heart to beat faster,” he said. Among people who suffer from irregular heart beat or arrhythmia, loud noise of over 80 decibel can lead to loss of beats and a sudden cardiac arrest.

“In some people, loud noise can cause the coronary artery to go into a spasm and induce a heart attack.”

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Persistent exposure to loud sounds, such as airport and traffic noise, can cause chronic hypertension, elevated blood pressure. This increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Chronic stress of any kind is detrimental to the adrenal glands.

The consequences of adrenal exhaustion include fatigue, a less than optimally functioning immune system, cancer, thyroid disorders, obesity, arthritis, fibromyalgia, sleep problems, low libido, sugar cravings, poor digestion, chronic fatigue syndrome, auto-immune disorders, and many other chronic health issues.

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– Tom Irvine

One thought on “Audiogenic Stress

  1. Pingback: Human Response to Music « Vibrationdata

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